"The Christmas movie classic It's a Wonderful Life is beloved by generations of fans who never tire of seeing it yet one more time. The 1946 drama defines the Christmas spirit in the story of Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, who, on the verge of committing suicide, is visited by an angel who reveals how loved he is by his community. George's kindness to each of them through the years returns tenfold when he himself desperately needs it.
"The beloved film actually bombed at the box office when it was released in December 1946, shortly after the end of World War II. Audiences did not take to it, so it sat on a shelf forgotten. The copyright was not renewed in 1974, so that put it in the public domain. At that point, the movie was aired on TV and was reborn to a new generation of fans.
"Actress Karolyn Grimes, who played the youngest Bailey, 6-year-old Zuzu, is the only surviving member of the cast. Her childhood film career spanned 16 movies, but she is best remembered for her role in It's a Wonderful Life, delivering the ending line, 'Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.'"
A recent National Catholic Register article profiled Ms. Grimes and her faith background (she is convert to Catholicism).
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